Over the years, parenting styles have changed quite dramatically. There are a lot of different techniques you can use these days and one of the most recent, which is fast gaining in popularity, is positive parenting.
You may have come across the term “positive parenting”, but do you know exactly what it is? If not, below you’ll discover everything you need to know about this relatively new parenting style.
Remember – how you decide to raise your child is ultimately your decision. It all comes down to personal preference and there is no right or wrong way to do it. So, if after reading more about positive parenting you decide it’s right for you that’s great, but if not, that’s fine too.
Understanding Positive Parenting
Positive parenting is a little different to the standard authoritative type of parenting many of us grew up with. Rather than focusing on punishing bad behavior, it instead revolves around encouraging positive behaviors.
It does this in numerous ways, but the main factor it takes into account is that our children’s voices should be heard. So, rather than shouting at your child when they do something wrong, instead you’d talk to them about it, listen to what they have to say and help them understand their actions.
Rather than following a set of guidelines or rules, positive parenting is instead more of a belief and a lifestyle change.
Why Is Positive Parenting Often Recommended?
There are a lot of experts who now embrace this style of parenting and there’s quite a few reasons why. It is said to:
- Strengthen the bond between parent and child
- It’s easier for children to understand
- It encourages communication
- It’s said to help children develop into happier, healthier adults
As you can see, those are some pretty compelling benefits positive parenting claims to provide. Of course, a lot of the benefits you’ll read about positive parenting come from those who are passionate about it (although that can be true for every parenting style.) Therefore, it can be difficult to come across unbiased advice.
Let’s take a closer look at the above benefits…
Strengthening The Parent/Child Bond – It’s said that positive parenting encourages secure attachment between both parent and child. This is what is largely thought to lead to healthier emotional development.
It’s said that secure attachment can help to build better resilience and have a positive effect on brain development. As your child will also feel like their voice matters, they’ll learn to trust you more and feel more comfortable to open up to you whenever they encounter a problem.
It’s Easier For Children to Understand – Perhaps one of the strongest arguments for positive parenting is the fact it’s easier for your child to understand.
It’s argued that biologically, children simply don’t have the capability to understand the many rules imposed upon them. So, when they do break the rules it may not be because they are trying to defy you, but because they simply don’t understand.
It Encourages Communication – One of the goals of positive parenting is to actually listen to your child. It also involves explaining behavior, rather than simply pointing it out. The conversations you have with your child therefore, can really help to develop their communication skills.
If they are better able to communicate, you’ll often find their behavior improves as they start to learn more about what is expected of them.
Helping Them To Develop Into Happier, Healthier Adults – There is some logic behind this suggested benefit. In the past, parents were extremely strict with their children. Spankings were a common occurrence and children wouldn’t dare to answer their parents back. It was largely a fear-based, authoritative parenting style and in many cases, it was shown to negatively affect how a child developed.
Children who grew up in an overly strict household are often less able to express their feelings, and they’re colder with their own children due to the lessons they were taught when they were young. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but there it definitely suggests a link between strict parenting and emotional development.
Positive parenting on the other hand, is thought to help with a child’s emotional development, showing them it’s ok to communicate their thoughts and feelings. It also helps them to feel safer and better connected to their parents.
So, these are the supposed benefits of positive parenting, but are there any downsides?
What Are The Arguments Against Positive Parenting?
Here at Starlight Baby, we’re passionate about providing the best possible, unbiased advice. Before deciding whether or not positive parenting is right for you, it’s a good idea to also be aware of the potential drawbacks. So, below we’ll look at the arguments some experts make against this popular style of modern parenting…
Positive Parenting Can Be Difficult To Grasp – Some parents are naturally well-suited to positive parenting styles. However, some do find it difficult figuring out how to correct bad behavior using positive parenting methods. After all, discipline and consequences are still an important part of positive parenting. It can be difficult knowing what boundaries to set and how it works. So, you will need to do a lot of research to understand exactly how to adopt a positive parenting style.
Bad Behavior Can Be Difficult To Deal With Quickly – As positive parenting involves a lot of trying to explore bad behavior rather than punishing it, you may find it takes longer to stop certain behaviors. Some children are naturally more rebellious than others and a gentle approach doesn’t always work. So, it can prove to be a lot more stressful and won’t necessarily have the desired results.
If Done Incorrectly, Children May Lack Guidance – If parents are a little too relaxed about boundaries, their children could grow up without any real sense of guidance. This means they will ultimately turn to their peers as role models. This isn’t always a good thing depending upon who those peers are.
Your Child May Find It Hard To Deal With Challenges – You do have to be careful with positive parenting to ensure you don’t overprotect or coddle your child too much. If you do, they could grow up finding it difficult to deal with the challenges presented to them.
These are the main potential arguments against positive parenting. However, it’s the same with any type of parenting – there are pros and cons to each different style. Remember, you can do everything right as a parent, but it doesn’t guarantee your child will grow up to always make the right decisions. There are so many things that can determine how a child develops.
All we as parents can do, is our best. Whether that’s via a more authoritative parenting style or a positive one.
Overall, positive parenting definitely has its advantages, with more research being presented constantly to back up the benefits it claims. It’s true that being too strict with a child can have negative consequences on their development, but then so too can being too lenient. So, it’s about finding the right balance and discovering the right type of parenting style to fit your own personality and beliefs.
Have you tried positive parenting? Did it work? Let us know your experiences below…